Through various event keynotes and activities, tech leaders congregated in Singapore to exchange ideas and shape the yin-yang future of AI.

The rapid democratization of AI is leading to a surge in widespread adoption across industries, with many firms integrating it into their products. However, the brave new world of AI brings about new challenges such as cybersecurity, sustainability and ethical concerns.

That is why balancing the risks and rewards of AI was one of the hottest topics at Tech Week Singapore, organized by CloserStill Media. More than 600 technology pioneers, leading businesses, and public leaders convened to discuss the complexities of AI.

According to Dr Aik Beng Ng, Regional Manager, NVIDIA AI Technology Center: “In 2022, the world woke up to ChatGPT, and for many of us, this moment ushered in a new era for generative AI. We are just beginning to realize the true potential of AI where it meets the physical world. Currently the AI experience is very much digital. The next generation is where AI meets the full extent of every industry out there: such as transportation, manufacturing, and more.”

Unfortunately, the benefits of AI are being matched with threats in equal measure. Dr Magda Chelly, co-founder, Responsible Cyber, noted at the event: “On one hand, AI technologies have the potential to amplify cyber threats, weaving a web of complexities — including its usage by various stakeholders in an ecosystem. This phenomenon would raise exponential risks, and might create a domino effect when a cyberattack or data breach happens. Such a scenario might not only lead towards a disruption, but a full-scale interruption within a wider supply chain and ecosystem.”

Yet, industry leaders at the event also “see an unparalleled opportunity for AI to bolster our cyber defenses, especially when (it is) incorporated into data analysis and process optimization. By embracing AI in cybersecurity and third-party risk management strategies, businesses gain a clearer visibility into the cascading risks in their ecosystems. It’s crucial to understand that AI doesn’t merely represent the threat horizon but is an essential ally in navigating it,” Dr Chelly continued.

Innovations on show

At one of the co-located events, Cyber Security World, Responsible Cyber unveiled an innovative AI-powered platform that not only monitors real-time ecosystem- and third-party risks, but also anticipates risk scenarios, ensuring businesses remain steps ahead of potential breaches — while it simultaneously enhance operational efficiency and compliance through intelligent automation.

For all its allure, AI is also a sustainability challenge. The server computer density that AI requires generates significant heat and consumes a large amount of water for cooling, which presents energy efficiency and sustainability challenges. Singapore is taking the lead in emphasizing the importance of sustainable growth in the region, with its recent announcement of a sustainability standard for data centers operating in tropical climates.

At another co-located event, Data Centre World Asia, Schneider Electric Singapore reiterated their commitment to collaborate with the Sustainable Tropical Data Centre Testbed in Singapore, via a S$1.2m investment. They will also be sharing their ideas to measure and manage sustainability in data centers on 12 October. 

Still time to visit the event

As we enter a new milestone in AI, there are more questions than answers, according to Andy Kiwanuka, Managing Director(Asia Pacific), CloserStill Media, the event organizer: “How can leaders separate tactics from media noise, and what are the priorities for business leaders entering this new AI-enabled future? What strategies will make sense to small- and medium-sized enterprises versus multinational corporations?”

According to Kiwanuka, Tech Week Singapore contains multi-layered content programs for leaders to share best practices and envision new possibilities where technology is the enabler for a better future.

For readers interested and able to catch some of the event programs, it runs until 12 October 2023 at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre.